As most of you know, we stopped growing for market in 2011. This year we have turned our attention to finding people who may be the right buyers for a new configuration of the farm.
In 1973 we bought 60 acres in western Loudoun County, our part of a purchase of 400 acres –nearly ½ mile by 1 mile—with the Newcomb, Moutoux, and Graybeal families. In 2002 we bought a log house on 5 acres northwest of our farm from John Graybeal. In that same year, we began the subdivision of our 60 acres. This change took place officially in 2007, with 58 of the 60 acres now in permanent conservation easement.
The farm is located is 50 miles from Washington, DC, 10 miles from the MARC commuter train in Brunswick, MD and 10 miles from Leesburg, VA and the Rt 267 toll road.
The resulting properties are a 40 acre and a 10 acre parcel, separated by the farm driveway, now called Planck Lane, and seven clustered hamlet lots, 1/4 to 1/3 acre each, on circular Cobbett Lane, surrounded by their 8 acres of common open space.
We are happy to have sold the most important of these — the forty acres with the farm house, farm infrastructure and ponds — to our friend and neighbor, Rob Moutoux, in August. Rob is adding to his existing animal, fruit, vegetable, and grain operation. We are now living in the log house.
Our focus is shifting to finding buyers for the 10 acres and its house, and the seven hamlet lots.
The 10 acres is bordered by land owned by Ellen Polishuk and by Mariette Hiu Newcomb (Potomac Vegetable Farms) on the east, and by Rob’s 40 acres west of Planck Lane. To the west of Rob is the farm of Barbara Lamborne and Dennis Fuze (Greenstone Fields) with flowers, small fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms. These neighbors use ecological growing methods only. Other neighbors on the 400 acres are Howard Herman, bee keeper and founder/manager of the Falls Church farmers market, and Lani Newcomb and Kathy Broaddus, large animal vets (Broad Run Veterinary Service), with horses and chickens.
The house on the 10 acres is one story, 840 sf, 1 BR, 1 BA, built in 1994. It has cedar siding, 6” walls, HVAC heat pump, and an insulated, convenient to use, full-foundation crawl space. A second house of any size may be built in the 15,000 sf building area that contains the existing house. Non-residential outbuildings may be built outside the building area.
The soils are 70% Purcellville silt loam (2 to 7% slope), and 30% Purcellville and Tankerville loam (7 to 15% slope). We have farmed it without chemicals since 1979. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 we grew on a little over 2 of these 10 acres for the Saturday Arlington farmers market, grossing 40K per acre.
It is our expectation that with excellent soils, diverse neighboring farms, and proximity to Washington area customers, this could work well as a small farm.
The January 2011 county assessment is $343K. A January 2011 appraisal put the market value at 350K. Our price is 350K.
As with the 40 acres, we are looking for someone who intends to farm or someone who will be compatible with the surrounding farming operations.
The hamlet lots and house plans are a different option in the new configuration. We hope these lots and house designs will appeal to people who would like to live in a compact arrangement of modest sized houses next to working farms.
There are two models, each with 3 or 4 bedrooms and two full baths, and with a number of choices for porch and entry details. Wells have been drilled (20-100 gpm) and drain fields sited. Roadwork, drainage, and utility access have been completed.
In December 2010, the price for a finished lot and a 3 BR, 2 BA 1800 sq ft house and detached garage was $430, to be constructed by respected Loudoun builder Paul Reimers, using custom green plans of traditional design by equally respected Loudoun architect Kevin Ruedisueli. Most rooms and roofs face south for passive solar and potential active solar advantage. Geothermal heating and cooling is an option.
Attached are a site map and aerial photo showing the properties and their immediate neighbors. If you would like more information, we can send attachments showing soils data, building area location, and photos of existing house on the 10 acre parcel, or house plans for the hamlet lots.
To view a satellite photo of agricultural use on the 400 acres in 2009, go to Google Maps, Street View, and enter 15200 Planck Lane Purcellville, VA 20132.
Chip and Susan Planck
38205 John Wolford Rd
Purcellville, VA 20132